JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Even with a $6000 gift, people don’t want batteries with their solar: SA scheme fails

Battery back-up is so expensive and uneconomic that South Australian householders are ignoring the SA governments offer of a $6000 gift to entice them to buy them.

One man installed the batteries and still spent $18,000. Obviously batteries are a “tempting” offer for renters and the poor (if they win lotto).

Home battery scheme off to sluggish start in SA, despite $6,000 subsidy

Richard Davies, ABC

For the past 12 months, the SA Government has offered households $6,000 towards a battery, as well as access to low-cost loans to install solar panels. But so far only about 3,700 have applied, with only 2,000 batteries installed — significantly less than the target of connecting 40,000 households over four years.

Energy analyst Tristan Edis said …

“At best, you’d be getting a payback at around eight years…” and “another reason was that feed-in tariffs to export solar energy back to the grid were still relatively generous — about 15 cents per kilowatt hour.

South Australia is the economic space where one distorted market signal meets another.

The opposition could have pointed out how this hurts the poor, but instead complain that the conservative govt [...]

Chile cancels UN Climate conference — weeks out — COP25 forced to move

The next annual giant UN climate junket was due to be held in Santiago, Chile on Dec 2 – 15. But protests have driven the country into a state of emergency, 20 people have died, and 3 of the countries six train lines are not functional. It’s so bad, it may take six months to restore the train lines. The protests are reminiscent of the Yellow Vests in France — they started over a minor hike in prices (to train tickets) but escalated rapidly, are largely leaderless, but are obviously very angry.

Chile’s president has just, tonight, pulled out of hosting both the UNFCCC conference, and APEC as well.

A few days ago both sides of politics were claiming the protesters as their own. But with this extraordinary news it’s going to be hard for Saint Greta’s team to say that the protesters want carbon taxes and climate action which is why they destroyed the trains.

Greta is on the way overland.

Chile cancels climate and Apec summits amid mass protests

BBC News,

Chile has pulled out of hosting two major international summits, including a UN climate change conference, as anti-government protests continue.

ScoMo spends $1 billion on another band-aid subsidy for failing grid

Just another renewables subsidy

The Prime Ministers office has announced $1 Billion boost for power reliability which translates as a billion dollars spent on emergency measures we wouldn’t need if we hadn’t spent billions recklessly and artificially on a transition we didn’t need to have.

Ten years ago Australia didn’t have to spend a single dollar, on any batteries, pumped storage, or “grid stabilizers”. And it didn’t need extra interconnectors. For decades the FCAS was largely free, thanks to giant turbines from coal plants. If we wanted grid unreliability back then, we’d probably have had to pay for it.

The Liberal National Government will establish a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure, including eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

This is a government fund to support governments “investing” in energy generation?

The new $1 billion fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), drawing on the energy and financial markets expertise that has seen the CEFC invest more than $7 billion in clean energy since its establishment in 2012. The Fund represents the first new capital provided [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

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California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough?

 

California’s devastating Kincaid Fire located in Sonoma County has grown to over 66,000 acres and NASA’s Terra satellite captured this dramatic image of the smoke plume cascading down the coast. OCt 27, 2019. | NASA image.

In Western Australia (WA) we have incendiary gum trees, regular droughts, and humidity so low that sometimes the clothes dry in the washing machine. Far be it for me to tell Californians how to manage their forests, but thought it worth a mention that Western Australian State govt do managed burns on 8% of the forest each year, and our top experts say it should be twice as much.

Compare that to California, where the rate of prescribed burning is now around 0.2% of the forest or so. Not the same type of fire-loving trees, but still the flammable kind…

BushfireFront: WA burns about 8% annually

A regime of green burning also produces a healthier and more vigorous forest and is better for biodiversity. This approach was applied rigorously in WA forests for nearly 30 years, with tremendous success. Unfortunately since about the 1980s green burning has been under constant attack from environmentalists and academics. As a result, in [...]

Shrinking Stevenson Screens cause global warming (and peeling paint, long grass…)

The Australian BOM has lost its way

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is paid more than a million dollars a day, and the planet is under seige, yet the paint is peeling off some Australian thermometer screens, the grass is long, and wasps are nesting in them. What once were large 230 litre wooden boxes have shrunk to 60 litres and are now even turning to plastic. The old glass thermometers are being replaced with electronic gear that can record a burst of hot air — yet somehow those freak high spikes are supposed to be comparable to temperatures recorded 100 years ago by slow glass thermometers.

Old larger boxes protected thermometers from sudden changes in air temperature.

Left: Len Walker with a 230L screen in 1940. Right: Blair Trewin with a modern 60L Stevenson screen.

Possibly the hardest thing to explain is that even though the BOM collected comparison data on the different types of thermometers, which might help to assess new versus old, they routinely throw the data away. Compounding that, the metadata on sites is incomplete, missing, lacking in documentation. Giant six lane highways are built next to equipment sites but not recorded. There is a huge [...]